This week’s Wander is going to be about… Nothing.
This isn’t because I haven’t been doing anything. It’s the reverse. I’ve been doing a great deal, but most of what I’ve been doing – while completely fascinating to me, and definitely connected to writing – has not taken a form that I care to discuss.
So, I’m going to be completely honest. I could tell you I wrote ten pages in one day. I could tell you that those ten pages were the end result of about ten days of nearly constant brainstorming, dead ends, obsession, false starts and the like. I could tell you that in the end, what got me over the hump was turning off the computer, taking out a heap of scrap paper and a fountain pen of dubious functionality, and scribbling until all the varied bits and pieces began to fall into shape.
Would that be of interest?
I really don’t know. But it would be honest.
I’ve noticed a trend of writers posting on-line how many words they wrote in a given day. I’m not sure where this came from. Maybe it’s an outgrowth of the NaNoWriMo mentality that presents production in and of itself as meritorious.
Well, if the end result of that production is something of quality, then I firmly agree. However, if it’s merely moving fingers across the keyboard so one can see the little number counter at the corner go up and up and up…
Let’s just say I have my doubts.
Odd thing though. Recently, I was talking with a relatively young writer who wondered if her goal should be to write a large amount of material (say, two hundred pages) or to limit herself to a still ambitious length (fifty pages), then focus on going over it. My advice to her was to limit the length, focus on the editing and polishing, because one learns so much in the process of making the words communicate the story that’s in your brain.
But then, just a few days later, I was talking with a friend of mine – a published writer who has completed several novel-length manuscripts, as well as numerous short stories. She’s good. No doubt. But any project takes her forever because she can’t let go of a sentence until it’s just right. Her word count in a week usually measures in the hundreds, not thousands of words. I’m always trying to get her to let go and just write, worry about the polishing later.
And me? It’s about how the inside of my head feels. How the Muse is feeling. Right now she’s saying “Go write. Don’t worry about what or where it’s going. Just write. There’s something there, waiting to find its way out.”
So, folks, that’s what I’m going to do.
I’ll also be preparing for Bubonicon, New Mexico’s SF convention. I’m on four panels and giving a reading. I’m also helping out with the Afternoon Tea. And, for the first time, Jim and I are putting a couple of multi-media projects in the Art Show.
But I think it’s time for the scrap paper and semi-functional fountain pen. The Muse is calling and I shall come…